Carter Jonas Achieves Planning Consent for a Fusion Demonstration Plant at Culham Science Centre, Oxfordshire
Date of Article
Apr 26 2023
Planning & development

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Carter Jonas has secured planning consent on behalf of UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) for a Fusion Demonstration Plant at Culham Science Centre.

The multi-million pound facility will be built and operated by General Fusion, a Canadian based company founded in 2002. General Fusion is developing a fusion power device based on Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) technology - a form of fusion which uses the process that powers the sun to create carbon-free, safe and abundant electricity. 

Planning permission was granted by South Oxfordshire District Council on 28 March 2023.

The Fusion Demonstration Plant is a critical step towards achieving commercial fusion power. The new facility will demonstrate that fusion conditions can be practically achieved using MTF technology. The test machine will be constructed at 70% of full power plant scale to enable the testing and refinement of fusion technology through ongoing research and development based on actual performance. This testing and research will pave the way for the company’s future commercial power plant.

By locating the new facility at Culham Science Centre, the Fusion Development Plant will benefit from existing fusion supply chain activities in the UK as well as UKAEA’s knowledge and expertise in the field. 

Steven Sensecall, Carter Jonas’ Head of Planning & Development for the South & South West commented: “We were extremely pleased to have helped in achieving planning consent for this important facility which will deliver safe, clean and plentiful energy for the UK and beyond, and in doing so, assist considerably in tackling climate change.  Carter Jonas has worked extensively at Culham Science Centre for many years and recently secured the release of the site from the Green Belt and its allocation in the newly adopted Local Plan as a strategic employment site. This new planning policy framework has established the platform for further ground-breaking science and technology related development at Culham, such as this facility.

Professor Sir Ian Chapman, CEO of UKAEA commented: “UKAEA welcomes this milestone as it aligns with our strategy to create clusters that accelerate innovation in fusion and related technologies, and support public-private partnerships to thrive. It also builds upon our heritage of hosting major fusion facilities here at our Culham Campus.

In achieving planning success, Carter Jonas worked alongside the project team including AL_A Architects, Fabrik Landscape Architects, ARUP, Ecology By Design, Donald Insall Associates, Hatch, BSP Consulting and Tree Frontiers.

Fusion Demonstration Plant at Culham Science Centre